Featuring the Smooth Groove of Today's Jazz!
This Week at CaféJazz.ca

July 17th, 2004
Edition #331 Previously Next

Special Presentation:
The Quarterly Review - The Second 90 Days!

On this edition we're looking back at some outstanding music that has either been released or otherwise been featured on the show in the past 90 days or so. Yes, this is the quarterly review and this is now our second installment of this special presentation. The past several months provided loads of great listening from some top names in the genre. Spyro Gyra had a new record. Pieces of a Dream issued their new one, and Marion Meadows had one as well. True to form there'll be something from each of those. Nevertheless, there's more to this show than merely focusing on music that's previously been played. That's not our style. Instead we're delving a bit more deeply into many of the albums that have been sampled over the past few months.

As such you'll be hearing from CJ favourites like Theo Bishop & Eliane Elias. Then there are a couple of incredible cover tunes from Patrick Yandall & Plan 9. We also have two of the top producers in SJ, Paul Brown and Jason Miles. Each serve up a tune from their latest projects; Brown from his solo debut & Miles from his most recent all star release. Finally (?), Nestor Torres & Andre Ward both contribute exceptional selections to our musical milieu. But the list does go on...Matt Marshak, Gene Dunlap, Analysis,... & many more. However, writing about music isn't quite the same as listening to music or experiencing it. In fact I'm sure that you would agree, it's not even close. So tune in and discover for yourself the great vibe of Canada's Smooth Jazz Connection. Hopefully you'll enjoy our selections. Perhaps you may even be moved by what you hear. One thing is certain though. If you enjoy great SJ, you won't be disappointed!

Highlights Hour One
Every Time I Open My Eyes - André Ward:

The Chicago-born musician began playing at the age of five and was heavily influenced the late Grover Washington Jr. Once he discovered straight-ahead jazz, Andre also looked to players such as Adderly, Parker, & Coltrane. After a stint at Berklee in Boston, Ward performed at the Montreux Jazz Festival and toured with artists such as Will Downing, The Four Tops, The O'Jays, & Dizzy Gillespie. His debut album, released a couple of years ago, incorporated varied elements of gospel, jazz, and R&B and received a fair degree of critical acclaim & commercial success. Steppin' Up is his recently released sophomore project. From that effort, Every Time I Open My Eyes is the one that we've selected. Activated by an easy shuffle groove, this tune instantly embraces. As the melody unfolds, the piece glides effortlessly as it deeply soothes!

CD: Steppin' Up
Label: Award/Orpheus

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Maybe Tonight - Nestor Torres:
Sin Palabras or Without Words is now Torres eighth release and his first on the Heads Up record label. This latest project sees the teaming of Torres with James Lloyd from Pieces of a Dream. In addition to contributing piano and various keyboards to many of the tracks, Lloyd is largely responsible for the production duties on the album. The pairing works well, opening new musical vistas for Torres to explore and adding a slightly funkier edge to Nestor's sound. The result is, in my humble opinion, one of the finer releases to this point in the year. However, on this occasion we chose a tune with a great groove that was produced instead by Carlos Pennisi. Pennisi plays guitar on the track that he also helped Torres compose. Wayne DeLano on sax & Chuck Willis on trumpet round out the sound on this superb piece!

CD: Sin Palabras
Label: Heads Up International
Site: Nestor Torres

Keep On Keepin' On - Barry Danielian:
Danielian provides us with one of the finer tracks that it's been my pleasure to hear & play in these past few months. Since the mid 90s, Barry has worked as one of New York City's most in-demand session players. In that capacity he has contributed to more than 200 recordings. Common Ground is his solo debut. On the effort, the former member of TOP incorporates much of what he's learned over a 15 year period as a sideman to deliver an & intriguing spin on the urban scene. This track is funky & fresh. The more that I hear it, the more I like it & I think that you will enjoy it too!

CD: Common Ground
Label: Tariqah Records
Site: Barry Danielian

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Highlights Hour Two

Where Love Will Take - Torcuato Mariano:
One of South America's most accomplished guitarists, Mariano grew up listening to the music of his native Argentina as well as to that of American artists such as Santana and Stevie Wonder. Initially he won recognition as a pop composer. However, following his relocation to Brazil, Torcuato quickly became highly regarded as a session player. This led to extensive touring with Sergio Mendes and Ivan Lins. Now, after putting his own career on hold for nearly ten years, Mariano returns with his third solo outing. As he explores the subtleties & intricate nuances of his craft, the seasoned performer delivers an enticing blend of Brazilian flavours & jazz influences that tempts further listening. A perfect example is today's selection. On the tune Torcuato not only plays all guitars but also plays the Fender Rhodes & Mini Moog bass as well as handling all other keyboard & programming duties. This is a beautiful expressive piece, melodic and heart felt.

CD: Diary
Label: 215 Records

Suede - Marion Meadows:
Hey! Is this the best cd that Marion Meadows has ever recorded? I'm not certain of the answer, however, it just may be. One thing that I don't doubt, is that this release is one of the finest to this point in the year. On Player's Club, Meadows continues an association with Michael Broening that began one cd ago. Marion has always exhibited one of the most attractive voices on the sax in SJ. The partnership with Broening, though seems to have kicked things up a notch ...or two! In addition to contributing his production and compositional skills to the project, Broening also handles keyboards & programming duties on many of the tracks including the one that we're playing. Now the sound and style that Meadows has been honing for years is displayed to perfection. The name Suede says it all... you really can't get much smoother than that!

CD: Player's Club
Label: Heads Up International
Site: Marion Meadows

Movin' Me On - Eliane Elias:
Multitalented and well known for her distinctive style, Elias blends many of the influences of her Brazilian heritage with her impressive jazz and classical skills. She began studying piano at age seven. At twelve Eliane was already transcribing the solos of many of the masters in jazz. By fifteen she was teaching piano and improvisation at Brazil' s prestigious school of music. In 1981 Elias headed for New York and the following year landed a spot in the group Steps Ahead. Her first release in 1984, was in collaboration with Randy Brecker. Shortly thereafter Eliane began her solo career which now includes over fifteen albums. Dreamer is the latest of these. This cd may be a bit of a sleeper as it continues to grow on me. Movin' Me On is now the 3rd selection that we've featured from it and I don't think that we're done yet! By the way, that's another Brecker, that being Michael Brecker, who contributes his wonderful sax to the track.

CD: Dreamer
Label: Bluebird
Site: Eliane Elias

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